Montana is known more for its wide open spaces and mesmerizing natural beauty than for its man-made wonders. While the chance for natural adventure in the great outdoors is never far away in Big Sky, there are a few amusement and theme parks in Montana that you should visit!
In this article, we will look at the top amusement and theme parks in Montana to make sure you experience all the Treasure State has to offer.
A Guide to the Best Amusement and Theme Parks in Montana
What do People do in Montana for Fun?
Truthfully, amusement parks aren’t typically the reason that out-of-state visitors come to Montana.
Instead, the state is famous for its outstanding natural environment, which people can explore through destinations such as the two national parks located within state borders: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
Additionally, with winters dropping to freezing temperatures, Montana is also on the bucket list of winter sports enthusiasts all around the world.
Of course, with an abundance of rural areas and untouched land, Montana is also a popular destination for those looking for wildlife-viewing experiences. In the national parks alone, it’s common to spot bears, bison, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and other creatures.
History buffs also flock to Montana to soak up the stories and secrets of the state’s rich past, the relics of which are still preserved today.
Among the most adored destinations for history lovers include; Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park, C.M. Russell Museum, Garnet Ghost Town, and Pictograph Cave State Park.
Additionally, Montana is renowned for its contribution to paleontology, with several important dinosaur fossils having been discovered here. You can see real fossils and even dig for your own in several locations throughout Montana.
Be sure to check out the Museum of the Rockies to view one of the only mounted tyrannosaurus rex skeletons in the United States.
While these attractions tend to be the most famous in Montana, the state still offers a handful of exciting amusement parks to check out.
Amusement and Theme Parks in Montana
Many of the most popular amusement parks in Montana are water parks, and one of the best-known is Missoula’s Splash Montana.
There are several exciting attractions at Splash Montana, including three multi-story waterslides, a kid’s water slide, spray features, floating play structures, cabana rentals, and a river float way. The water park is also home to an Olympic-sized swimming pool for lap swimming.
Splash Mountain hosts special events throughout the year, including private celebrations such as children’s birthday parties.
There is food available from both the Crazy Creek Café and the Fireline Grill, and those who aren’t confident in their water skills can also take swimming lessons here.
Open in the summer months from June through August, Splash Montana is fun for all ages, though minors under six years old must always be accompanied by an adult when in the water.
Celebrated as Montana’s biggest water park, Big Sky Waterpark is a must-visit destination for those who love to swim. Located in Columbia Falls, Big Sky Waterpark is an ideal family destination no matter the weather.
Only minutes from Kalispell and Whitefish, it’s a great stop on your way to or from Glacier National Park.
The highlight of the park is the collection of monster waterslides. These include the Shredder Xtreme, the Big Splash River Ride, the Geronimo Speed Slide, and the four Twister Slides.
The park also holds water balloon battles, perfect for cooling down on sweltering Montana days.
Beyond the aquatic activities, the park offers bumper cars, miniature golf, and a rock climbing wall. There is also beach volleyball, plus barbecue facilities and picnic areas, in addition to a concession stand.
And if you want to remember your visit to the park, you can always grab a souvenir at the gift shop!
If you’re ever in Billings during the summer, be sure to make a stop at Oasis Waterpark. With a few exciting waterslides and a large pool area, it’s the perfect place to cool off. You can purchase daily passes at the gate or get a season pass.
Oasis specializes in swimming lessons, which can be another fun activity for kids during the summer. The park is also known for hosting birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, and even company meetings.
Open from June through August, Oasis heats its water to 83 degrees, so you can visit even on cooler days (which Billings tends to have a lot of). There’s also a concession stand with a few healthy food options to choose from!
If you happen to be in Montana on Halloween, then visiting the Field of Screams is a must… if you dare.
This annual amusement park, of sorts, is set on a 10-acre property and features more than 30 attractions that are guaranteed to scare the socks off you!
During the day, Field of Screams is a family-friendly event, with seasonal attractions that won’t be too frightening for younger visitors. There are wagon rides around the farm, and kids are welcome to explore the hay bales and slides in the PlaHAY Ground.
Kids can also walk through the cornfield for which the park is named (though it’s not so terrifying during the day).
At night, the real terror begins. Guests must trek through the cornfield, foggy swamps, graveyards, and playgrounds full of clowns.
Along the way, they’ll meet all manner of horrifying characters, from men with chainsaws to the scariest figures from famous horror movies. There are also quick escape rooms on site, where participants will have just 13 minutes to get themselves out.
Field of Screams is located 30 minutes out of Missoula and has been named one of the top-rated attractions by the Haunted Attraction Association.
Located in the Big Horn Resort in Billings, The Reef is Montana’s largest indoor water park. Home to a selection of multi-story waterslides, the park is full of fun activities for swimmers of all ages.
One of the biggest attractions in the park is undoubtedly the 55,000-gallon wave pool, where you can ride waves reminiscent of the Hawaiian beaches. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, there’s also the massive Barracuda Blaster and Tropical Twister waterslides, a plunge pool, and even water basketball.
For younger kids, The Reef is home to an interactive playground featuring a dumping bucket, shallow pools, mini slides and tubes, squirt guns, and tunnels.
With the Shark Shack offering delicious snacks and an enclosed patio where guests can relax, you can easily spend all day here.
A Carousel for Missoula is, strictly speaking, more of an amusement center than a theme park in Montana, but it’s one of Missoula’s most treasured attractions and definitely worth visiting.
Children and adults alike love riding on the Carousel, which features a number of handcrafted and locally designed ponies—a symbol of Missoula’s enduring community spirit.
It’s just $1 to ride the Carousel for children and $2 for those over 12 years old, making it a cost-effective activity to add to your Missoula itinerary.
Adjacent to the Carousel is the mystical playground known as Dragon Hollow, where kids will feel like they’ve landed in a medieval fairy tale.
There are also special events that are held at the Carousel throughout the year, such as the July Fairy Tale and Superhero Festival, Kids’ Day in May, and Santa’s Breakfast in December.
Butte may only be a small Montana town, but it’s home to one of the newest and most exciting water parks in the state: Ridge Waters. Located in Stodden Park, Ridge Waters is open seasonally, usually closing in late August every year.
Families can enjoy a game of water basketball or water volleyball using the facilities at the park, and there’s also a diving board, a gusher jet, two waterslides, and an aqua arch.
The park will soon feature the longest lazy river in Montana, and there’s also a climbing wall and play structure.
Kids under two can enter Ridge Waters for free, while adults can enter for just $6. There are also discounts available for seniors.
With grassy spaces and lots of shade, Electric City is something of an oasis that is perfect for a hot day. There are concession stands serving up the best of poolside snacks, along with a party deck where guests can socialize.
Electric City boasts the largest heated outdoor swimming pool in Montana, so you’re also in luck if the weather happens to be cooler. There are also waterslides, a relaxing lazy river, the children’s Squirt Zone, and the Kersplash Climbing Wall to check out.
There aren’t too many theme parks in Montana, but the ones that do exist offer endless family fun. Visit during the summer to make the most out of the state’s water parks, and be sure to put aside at least one Halloween to visit the terrifying Field of Screams just out of Missoula.